INDONESIA TSUNAMI: PRESS JOKOWI ORDERS NATIONAL AGENCY TO BUY EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS

PANDEGLANG (Indonesia), Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered the country’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) to purchase early warning systems, following a tsunami that ravaged the region.

As of Monday evening, at least 373 people have died and more than 1,400 are injured.

“I have instructed BMKG to purchase equipment for early detection, early warning systems that will be able to provide timely alerts for civilians, so that they can take action quickly (when a natural disaster happens),” Widodo told reporters in Pandeglang, Banten – one of the areas worst hit by the tsunami.

An official from the country’s disaster agency (BNPB) said earlier on Monday that Indonesia’s tsunami buoy warning system has not been operational since 2012, which meant that no alert was given to the residents in the areas struck by the tsunami.

In a video released by the Indonesian president’s press secretariat, Widodo can be seen walking through the rubble left behind by the tsunami, as well as speaking to survivors and disaster respondents.

The military and the police will continue to search for survivors, Widodo said.

“Today, we will sweep (the various areas) again, this time from the sea, to look out for areas that we might have missed out,” he said.

“The BNPB will help the victims, and (the families) of victims who died will receive aid and compensation from the social ministry.”

When asked about the cause of the tsunami, Widodo said that investigations were ongoing.

“We know it was not from an earthquake, but the exact source has not been confirmed. So let’s not jump into conclusions.”

Widodo also praised the military and the police for their quick responses.

“I have seen evacuation being done quickly by TNI (military) and Polri (police), helped by the local administration … I appreciate their quick responses.”

Responding to questions by reporters, the president added that he has instructed that disaster education be included in the schools’ syllabus.

On whether the disaster mitigation budget will be increased, he said: “Most importantly, the budget is rightly targeted and rightly used.”

Source: NAM News Network